The Heart of Worcester
Working Together To Strengthen and Protect Our Neighbourhoods:
Improving Our Environment
Worcester is a city of great and diverse neighbourhoods. The quality of life in our city depends on the strength of our neighbourhoods, the safety of their streets, and the commitment of the communities of people who live and work to improve our city every day. Worcester neighbourhoods are more than just streets, sidewalks, parks and buildings—they are the heart of our city, and their residents are its lifeblood.
In recent years, a significant part of Worcester’s public resources has been directed towards improving the downtown area. A successful downtown has many benefits for Worcester. The downtown alone, however, doesn’t define our city. Even as we continue to foster downtown development and revitalization, I believe that our city’s neighbourhoods need more attention and more resources.
Worcester is also taking the lead to protect our environment and become a leader in creating a sustainable community. Together we are working to address our storm water challenges, increase recycling efforts, improve our public spaces, and plant thousands of new trees to rebuild our urban forest.
Streets & Sidewalks: In response to widespread concerns about the conditions of our city’s roads and sidewalks, this year we approved a 20 million dollar plan to improve our streets and sidewalks throughout the city. Starting this spring, Worcester will launch the largest street and sidewalk program in decades that will help improve neighborhoods throughout the city.
Parks & Playgrounds: Thanks to funds generated from the sale of the Worcester Airport and the CSX project, as well as city funds and state support, we have more than 10 million dollars for parks and playground improvements that are currently throughout all parts of the city.
Public Safety: Last June the City Council made a difficult but necessary decision to decisions to raise taxes to insure a high level of public safety here in Worcester. This funding allowed us to protect our community policing program, avoid cuts to police staffing, as well as a hire 37 new firefighters to insure adequate staffing in response to an anticipated wave of retirements at the fire department.
Protecting our CDCs and Affordable Housing: We have been a vocal advocate to protect affordable housing efforts in the city and have taken an active role to insure that CDCs and the Affordable Housing community take a lead role in our city’s neighborhood development efforts.
The Worcester Tree Initiative: In partnership with Lt. Governor Tim Murray and Congressman McGovern, we have worked to help support the continued work of the Worcester Tree Initiative. This public/private partnership is working to insure that 30,000 new trees are planted in Worcester by 2015.
Storm Water and Rain Gardens: In response to growing concerns about the environmental and financial impact of storm water, we have built a new public/private partnership that is working to address Worcester’s storm water challenges. This group is launching a public education campaign about how community members can help limit the impact of storm water, promote the planting of rain gardens and develop policy changes to improve storm water management.